Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.
In 1865, Dodgson’s tale was published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by “Lewis Carroll” with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was held back because Tenniel objected to the print quality. A new edition, released in December of the same year, but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed. As it turned out, the original edition was sold with Dodgson’s permission to the New York publishing house of Appleton. The binding for the Appleton Alice was virtually identical to the 1866 Macmillan Alice, except for the publisher’s name at the foot of the spine. The title page of the Appleton Alice was an insert cancelling the original Macmillan title page of 1865, and bearing the New York publisher’s imprint and the date 1866.
The entire print run sold out quickly. Alice was a publishing sensation, beloved by children and adults alike. Among its first avid readers were Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde. The book has never been out of print. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into at least 97 languages. There have now been over a hundred editions of the book, as well as countless adaptations in other media, especially theatre and film.
The book is commonly referred to by the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland, an alternative title popularized by the numerous stage, film and television adaptations of the story produced over the years. Some printings of this title contain both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
Devised and directed by Eva Le Gallienne
Adaptation by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus
Music by Richard Addinsell with Bambi Linn as Alice
Performed in 1947 at the Majestic Theatre, the premier ‘musical’ theatre in New York, the cast included William Windom, Julie Harris and Eli Wallach.
British-born Eva Le Gallienne was a noted actress between 1914 and 1926. She then abandoned stardom, went on to become a great theatrical producer and was responsible for a number of significant productions.
Not only did she adapt both of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories into this play, she directed it, played the narrator AND the White Queen (right).
21-year old Bambi Linn as Alice (left) was a seasoned Broadway performer in musicals and making a big name for herself as a dancer.